FIFA will not allow Belgium to wear jerseys with the word ‘love’ on them at the World Cup. Originally, Belgium’s white away shirt featured the word on the inside collar. Typically, tags go there on shirts. The world’s governing body of the sport defends the decision. It claims commercial reasons are the principal cause for the change.

Previously released this summer, the jerseys in question link to a popular music festival. The team and kit maker Adidas collaborated with Tomorrowland to design the jerseys. When previously unveiled, the music festival explained the design in an official statement.

“With the kit, the Belgian Red Devils and partners involved intend to make a positive, fun statement of LOVE in times of turmoil,” the statement read. “On the authentic jersey, the LOVE sign-off is featured as neck detail in the inner neck of the jersey.”

‘Love’ removed from Belgium World Cup shirt

Belgium FA CEO Peter Bossaert made the announcement to abandon the shirts on Monday. “The word LOVE must disappear,” said Bossaert. “It’s sad, but FIFA leaves us no choice. The rest of the equipment remains unchanged.”

The Red Devils did not expected to wear the white away jerseys in the group stage of the tournament. They would have, however, donned the shirts if advancing to the knockout phase. Currently, Belgium ranks second in the FIFA World Rankings.

It remains to be seen if Belgium will have to receive brand new shirts by Adidas prior to the potential knockout stage. It is also a possibility to sew over the word ‘love’ on the inner collar to cover up the word FIFA despises so much.

FIFA cracks down on love and inclusion

The move to ban ‘love’ from Belgium’s shirts comes at a contentious time. FIFA banned teams from wearing OneLove armbands as well. Captains from seven competing countries had to abandon plans to wear the armband after FIFA threatened sanctions against the teams.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Kolvenbach

Guide to World Cup 2022

Here are some resources to help you get the most out of the biggest event in soccer!
TV Schedule: All the info on where and when to watch every game
The Groups: We breakdown each group and all the teams
The Kits: Check out what every team will be wearing on the field this fall
Predictor: Play out every scenario with our World Cup Predictor
World Cup Bracket: Map out the entire tournament, from the groups to the final